What Brandon Herman is realizing is that he's using his art practice as a means to edit his past.
For his new body of work, his childhood home becomes the location for a film he shoots in both live action and stills. He edits the imagery down to a selection so sparse that there is no longer a discernable storyline. A broken movie.
Considering the fragmented nature of memories themselves, it makes sense that he offers images like these in replacement, if he truly hopes for the body to accept them as its own.
So this place of significance becomes recontextualized. Idealized. Infused with the excitement of having been part of a dramatic narrative, but since that narrative is not truly his own, devoid of any genuine emotional attachment. Or at least I'd guess that's the idea. I wonder if he hasn't created an equally poisonous decoy.
Three stills depict various parts of the yard. There is a specificity and a static nature to them that makes me uncomfortable. In a movie, if a location is shown to me, I know something is going to happen there.
The accompanying video piece, which resembles the opening sequence of a film, is similarly saturated with an air of anticipation.
The three remaining photographs are each either imbued with a foreboding or display an aftermath. These are moments of tension. Moments that inherently lack sustainability, as I'm sure do the moments where he fully convinces himself he is either back there doing it over better, or has replaced whatever he is trying to erase.
Los Angeles, April 2012
Brandon Herman was born in Hillborough, California in 1983. He graduated with a BFA in Photography from RHode Island School of Design in 2006. Herman has exhibited internationally, including in a recent project with Musac Contemporary Art Museum in Leon, Spain. His work has appeared and been written about in such publications as Anthem, Artforum, Dazed & Confused, Eyemazing, Flaunt, Nylon, Soma, Tokion, V and Vice, and is part of the Harvard Business School permanent collection.
This is Herman's second solo show at envoy enterprises.
*Fictionalized statement, not authorized by James Franco